Thursday, December 12, 2013

Catching Fire

Suzanne Collins' follow-up to The Hunger Games started out leaving me cold.  That romantic love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale dominated the first section of the book.  Or so I thought.  Just below the surface the reader begins to learn about a rebellion building up in a number of the outlying districts.  A rebellion brought on by Katniss' move at the end of the prior Games that allowed her and Peeta both to win.

This rebellion is where things begin to get interesting.  Panem's Capitol controls the media, so it's not like it makes the news.  Ordinary citizens in the Capitol hear, for example, that weather in District 4 has caused a shortage of seafood.  But when Peeta and Katniss embark on their Victory Tour across the districts, they start to see and hear things.  Unrest has begun, and Katniss is its hero.  Also, they see adults get killed.  Seems like the shit just might be gettin' real.

The action begins in earnest when the premise of the Quarter Quell - a twist in the rules for every 25th Hunger Games - is announced, and Katniss and Peeta learn that they'll be back in the arena along with other former victors.  This means their mentor - and all of Panem - already knows (and, in many cases, adores) their competition.  The action during the Games is pretty exciting, and there are some twists I honestly didn't see coming.  And the ending does quite the opposite of wrapping things up in a bow.  It - surprisingly, I might add - sets up for a very interesting conclusion to the trilogy.

Another quick and enjoyable read.  Another sad use of first person, present tense.  [N.b., perhaps that style appeals to young adults for some reason?  I couldn't imagine.]  And yes, I'll finish the trilogy next.

Next up: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.  I've come too far to stop now!

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